I wanted to find a way to fold the wings of a small plane more easily and quickly than what was done. I wanted the wings to be stored above the fuselage, overlapping to take as little space as possible in width* so that the plane could go on the road. To achieve this overlapping of the wings, which requires that they do not have the same inclination when they are folded, I thought of using rod ends which can be tilted from 10 to 15° up and down, which is just the tilt needed for the overlap (not sure if I’m clear?). Having worked on crosskarts, I had noticed the incredible solidity of these rod ends that we used for our suspension wishbones.
Then I looked for the precise place where to place these rod ends, (which seems simple AFTER we have found!)… And here I had found a new way to fold the wings of a small high-wing plane!
Obviously I have been criticized, sometimes rightly so, but I continue to believe that my system is viable. I have shown by carrying out real tests, without a computer or expert calculations, which I do not know how to do, that the upper ball joint which serves as a pivot works very little in shear but essentially in compression, (see the tests), and that all what we need is to choose the right size for the system to be completely safe.
I cling to my idea because its benefits are enormous. You really fold the wings of your plane all by yourself and in a few minutes. You can drive on the road with its wings tidy on the fuselage, no wider than a car and with little wind resistance. You can tow your plane directly, without a trailer, if you equip it with the right wheels. And finally it takes the place of a car in a garage.
*Which is all the more necessary for a Part 103 with large wing chord.